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Dream Theater - When Dream and Day Unite

1989 MCA Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-02

The beginning of an era. Although it might not be apparent on this release, Dream Theater were ready to emerge as one of the few bands which could successfully write interesting progreesive metal compositions. Very ambitious musical showmanship is present all over this album, each member is allowed to stretch out ala Rush. You could argue that here Dream Theater sound too much like a hybrid of Queensryche, Rush and Styx, but this was their first release, and they were pretty damn young when this came out. Criticism aside, this is an excellent progresiive metal album, and their heaviest, as well. Missing is action is the outstanding collective ego that seems to cloud this band's later releases. While The Ytse Jam is the instrumental on the track, and does sport some incredible guitarwork, I'd say that other songs hold the key to why this band is so great. These guys are tight, and they put a lot of time into getting that way. They also have a knack, even on this release, of playing well off of one another. Again, a lot of what appeals is definitely Rush oriented, but the band was coming into their own. They were definitely wise, however, of removing the vocalist from the picture. He does an adequate job, but in my opinion, it parallels the change Fates Warning went through from John Arch to Ray Alder, it boosted the entire band 3 notches. I strongly recommend this, especially now since you don't have to go to Germany (where I finally found it) to get it!

Dream Theater - Images and Words

1992 ATCO Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-02

This album is a sad case of brilliance obscured by image. If you can ignore the packaging, this is an incredible album. The musicainship here is of the finest quality, and Dream Theater have the knack for writing epic compositions. Both Pull me Under and Take the Time are AOR (I've heard both on the radio) with a slight twist, how many popular songs are over 8 minutes in length? Both of these tracks are accessible, yet not, try to play along to most of Take the Time and see why. Time changes abound, somewhow you begin to see why this album was marketed this way. Metropolis is just astounding, as the middle section just boggles the mind. There are slight problems, though. The ego of the band really drains, especially on Another Day. A sax solo by the guy from Spiro Gyro??? What, was Kenny G busy that morning? Dave Koz on holiday? That song is atrocious, a true throwaway. The production is also too glossy, with artificial drum sounds, and a sterility about the album. This was made for soft ears. However, even with these heavy criticisms, this is an awesome album, highly recommended for those into progressive rock. Learning to Live alone is worth the proce of the album.

Dream Theater - Awake

1994 East/West Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-02

Their heaviest album to date, Awake once again captures the musical genius of Dream Theater while fleshing out their overall sound. Awake is HEAVY, John Petrucci incorporates some kick ass 7 string action here. Time has also tightened the attack, especially seen on Erotomania and the opening cut. The drums sound beautiful after Images and Words, meaty and in your face. Portnoy also scored an endorsement deal with Mapex for this album, and has like a billion drums at his disposal, which he does not hesitate to use. Clocking in at over 74 minutes, this album is also very, very long, maybe too much so. Space Dye Vest would have been a B side 10 years ago, and Innocence Faded really does nothing for me, it's their "Made for MTV" track. Ironically, it's one of the heavier cuts, Lie, which made it to MTV. I think Atlantic has some trouble marketing this band. Progressive glam rock for IAW, and "metal" for this release. With Awake, Dream Theater again prove their ability to produce excellent progressive rock.

Dream Theater - A Change of Seasons

1995 East/West Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-02

Essentially one 23 minute song and some filler cover tracks, A Change of Seasons is sold at a special price, and even with the cover tracks, is worth every penny. Personally, I could do without the covers, especially the insipid Lovin, Touchin, Squeezin, one of my least favorite songs of all times. These can be viewed as extra tracks tacked onto the end of Dream Theater's undisputed finest hour. The seven parts of this epic flow together seamlessly, with passages finding their way back into the listener's ear at various times throughout the recording. Gone is former keysman Kevin Moore, but a more than suitable replacement has been found in Sherinian, who at one point rejected an offer to tour with Yes to stay in Dream Theater (is he nuts?). Tight and controlled down to the crisp piccolo snare, A Change of Seasons is among the best of the side long compositions. Sadly, only time will tell if this is the zenith of Dream Theater's career, for based on the tepid Falling into Infinity, they're hitting "The Inevitable Summer" themselves...

Dream Theater - Falling into Infinity

1997 East/West Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-02

How the mighty have fallen. This album is 80 minutes of pure cheese, which is really unfortunate, as Dream Theater collectively hold some of the best musicians in now mainstream rock today. There's not much, if anything here, that can be considered metallish, with the exception of Burning my Soul? Nothing really stays with me here, unlike their excellent past releases. The egos of some of the members is really noticable to me as well, and it is this, along with the decision to use a "famous" producer, which results in total mediocrity.